'Tis the season to ride bikes! Hang on, isn’t it that season all year round? Well yes, but hopefully with a bit of holiday time over Christmas, and some beautiful crisp winter weather (we can dream), this month is the ideal time to get out in the hills.
If you’re wondering where to go, then this month’s mag is full of ideas… There are ride reports from Applecross in the Scottish Highlands, Eastridge in Shropshire and route maps from East Sussex, Mid Wales and The Yorkshire Dales.
If you’re after a mega challenge, then be sure to read our feature on riding the entire length of Wales in one day: 215miles and 8,000m of climbing, that’s a sure-fire way to burn off those mince pies.
Winter riding is no fun if you’re not prepared, so this month’s How To section focuses on tips for when things get grimy and how to clamber across off-cambers — an essential technique for wet natural trails.
We’ve also tested six of the best winter tyres, which’ll help you keep things rubber side down.
This month’s grouptest is wide handlebars, while the Bike Test pits four £500 hardtails head to head. The winner of this would make a perfect Xmas gift for any aspiring beginner.
A complete bike is a bit bulky to fit in a Christmas stocking, so if you’re looking for something a bit smaller check out our Christmas Gift Guide, which is packed with present ideas for two-wheel fanatics and all for under £100.
Although we’re all dreaming of a white Christmas, the reality is that December is often pretty wet and miserable. Keep the cabin fever at bay by getting stuck into one of our full-length features — a perspective on Red Bull Rampage told by the different faces who make up the event and a look at some of the renegade crews who are keeping the dirtbag spirit of mountain biking alive.
And count down the days until your next alpine adventure with our 2018 calendar, which we’re giving away this month with every issue.
Merry Christmas from all of the MBUK team!